: feeding ME is a project we started in 2012 that explores the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of Maine by interviewing local food purveyors and artisans. With environmental portraits and interviews we will tell the story of the individuals who are behind Maine's local food community. It includes markets, restaurants, farms, Bed and Breakfasts, etc. To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com
Meet David Parker, owner and inn keeper of the Morrill Mansion Bed and Breakfast, located in the historic West End of Portland, Maine. He is an extremely nice guy with a real passion for what he does. He was born and raised in Augusta, Maine and his love for this beautiful state is obvious as he said to me, "I can't imagine living anywhere else."
David bought the 1800's era Italianate mansion eight years ago, which was once the private home of Charles Morrill, the co-founder of B&M beans. It's hard to believe after seeing the immaculate condition the house is in now, that when he purchased it, it was a neglected six-room apartment building. He had to completely renovate the house and did most of the work himself, excluding the electrical and plumbing. The attention to detail is impressive. It now has eight guest rooms, all with their own in-suite private bathroom, and two guest common rooms with one on the first floor, and one on the second floor.
David had owned and operated garden centers for twenty-two years before he purchased the mansion and decided to convert it into a Bed and Breakfast. His friend had bought an Inn in the area and he helped out for a year previous to making the decision. But with his strong work ethic it isn't surprising that he has been very successful at it. He has not taken a vacation in the eight years the Morrill Mansion has been open. i know that from my former inn keeping experience that this kind of work can be extremely exhausting. The hours are very long, and in a city like Portland that attracts visitors year round, you seldom get a day off. David seems unaffected by this though as he smiles frequently and has an extremely positive attitude with nothing but endearing things to say about his guests.
Growing up, one of six children, with parents who worked, David learned his way around the kitchen pretty early in life. When his mother passed away he inherited the 2000 page family cookbook that seems to be a special treasure in his family. He creates a menu, and prepares a breakfast buffet for his guests daily. It includes fresh baked goods like muffins, and hot entrees like stuffed french toast, buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, and his ever-popular lobster soufflé that guests rave about.
The breakfast service is from 8 - 10 AM, and guests are welcome to arrive whenever they wish during that time. He also provides to-go breakfasts, and guests are welcome to eat in the dining room or take their breakfast back to their rooms for privacy. All of the rooms are equipped with mini-fridges as well. From the reviews, it also sounds like his homemade Whoopie Pies are quite a treat in the afternoons!
For David, meeting guests from all over the world seems to be what drives his passion for his amazing hospitality. He seems to really enjoy hosting a variety of people and providing an amazing experience for them. With different customs, languages, and even people from different regions of the United States there is seldom a dull moment while inn keeping.
If you are visiting Portland, Maine and are looking for a Bed and Breakfast experience, staying with David at the Morrill Mansion seems like a fine choice. Being in the West End, it is conveniently located to the Arts District and Longfellow Square.
249 Vaughn Street
Portland, Maine 04102
+1 (207) 774-6900